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Par Suzanne Kamata. 2007
A young mother fights impossible odds to be reunited with her child in this acutely insightful first novel about an… intercultural marriage gone terribly wrong.Jill Parker is an American painter living in Japan. Far from the trendy gaijin neighborhoods of downtown Tokyo, she's settled in a remote seaside village where she makes ends meet as a bar hostess. Her world appears to open when she meets Yusuke, a savvy and sensitive art gallery owner who believes in her talent. But their love affair, and subsequent marriage, is doomed to a life of domestic hell, for Yusuke is the chonan, the eldest son, who assumes the role of rigid patriarch in his traditional family while Jill's duty is that of a servile Japanese wife. A daily battle of wills ensues as Jill resists instruction in the proper womanly arts. Even the long-anticipated birth of a son, Kei, fails to unite them. Divorce is the only way out, but in Japan a foreigner has no rights to custody, and Jill must choose between freedom and abandoning her child.Told with tenderness, humor, and an insider's knowledge of contemporary Japan, Losing Kei is the debut novel of an exceptional expatriate voice. Suzanne Kamata's work has appeared in over one hundred publications. She is the editor of The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan and a forthcoming anthology from Beacon Press on parenting children with disabilities. A five-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she has twice won the Nippon Airways/Wingspan Fiction Contest.
Par Wayne P. Lammers, Junzo Shono. 2000
A masterpiece of quiet lyricism set against a backdrop of change and renewal in suburban Tokyo "A delicate, sad novel… that never admits to sadness."-The Atlantic"Junzo Shono, one of Japan's best kept literary secrets, challenges readers to rethink what constitutes a novel... Not unlike the trees, plants, flowers and vegetables that are so central to many of his images, Shono's style is alive and organic in the way it slithers, twists, and turns in an effort to capture the moment."-Persimmon
Par Gina B. Nahai. 2014
One of Publishers Weekly's Big Indie Books of Fall 2014!One of Library Journal's 25 Key Indie Fiction Titles for Fall… 2014-Winter 2015!"A riveting tale....Readers will be well rewarded."--Publishers Weekly, Starred review"An energetically inventive epic...Nahai's boisterous, sardonic, sometimes-lurid portrait of a community and the devil in its midst offers unusual, engrossing storytelling."--Kirkus Reviews"Orange Prize and IMPAC Award finalist Nahai (Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith) returns after seven years with a distinctive look at Iranian Jewish life in America, featuring a Los Angeles-based family hounded for decades by an unprincipled financier from their own community. His disappearance upends everything."--Library Journal Prepub AlertIncluded in Library Journal's "Books That Buzzed at BEA" Roundup, the first word on titles and trends from Barbara Hoffert, Editor"With The Luminous Heart of Jonah S., Orange Prize and IMPAC Award finalist Gina B. Nahai returns after seven years with another novel of bristly beauty, offering a distinctive look at Iranian Jewish life in America."--Library Journal, Books for the Masses/Editors' Picks BEA 2014"Gina B. Nahai has written a brilliant, funny, poignant, and thrilling novel about an Iranian Jewish family's struggle to find its identity in exile in America. Part murder mystery, part comic novel, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is a book you will not be able to put down."--Reza Aslan, author of Zealot and No god but God"Gina B. Nahai uses her gift for storytelling to add to the pantheon of American immigrant tales, but this time with an Iranian Jewish twist. This novel not only entertains, but asks the bigger question: do immigrants reinvent themselves in America or simply live out their destinies?"--Firoozeh Dumas, author of Funny in Farsi"Gina B. Nahai has given us a remarkable new work--part murder mystery, part lyrical novel, part sociological study of Iranian Jewish culture between Tehran and LA. Her sections on old Jewish Iran are simply transcendent; her insights into the Iranian exile culture in California, its excesses and vulnerabilities, are fascinating to read. Nahai brings a mystical touch to whatever she describes, reminding us of the magic--and at times dark and terrifying forces--of this world that so many were forced to leave behind, but continued to carry within them even decades later and thousands of miles away in America. Bravo."--Lucette Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit and The Arrogant YearsFrom Tehran to Los Angeles, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is a sweeping saga that tells the story of the Soleymans, an Iranian Jewish family tormented for decades by Raphael's Son, a crafty and unscrupulous financier who has futilely claimed to be an heir to the family's fortune. Forty years later in contemporary Los Angeles, Raphael's Son has nearly achieved his goal--until he suddenly disappears, presumed by many to have been murdered. The possible suspects are legion: his long-suffering wife; numerous members of the Soleyman clan exacting revenge; the scores of investors he bankrupted in a Ponzi scheme; or perhaps even his disgruntled bookkeeper and longtime confidant.Award-winning novelist Gina B. Nahai pulls back the curtain on a close-knit community that survived centuries of persecution in Iran before settling and thriving in the United States, but now finds itself divided to the core by one of its own members. By turns hilarious and affecting, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. examines the eternal bonds of family and community, and the lasting scars of exile.